Kosher Locust

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Kosher Locust

Postby Hart60 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:30 pm

If insects are considered Non Kosher why are Locust considered OK to eat ? - Not that I'm likely to even try eating one :shock:

Dan.
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Re: Kosher Locust

Postby rivka » Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:30 pm

It's not all locusts, just specific varieties. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosher_locust
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Re: Kosher Locust

Postby Enora » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:02 pm

You need to have the tradition in your family in order to distinguish which locust were kosher. It would seem that some moroccans also had this tradition up to recently. Why were they considered kosher? Probably because it was either eat them or die because after an invasion there was NOTHING ELSE to eat... and with pesticides we don't get such invasions anymore. I've had a few locust in our garden here, they're HUGE monsters. I can't even imagine a swarm of these beasts and the damage they can do but I was told it was pretty impressive and common in my parent's and grandparent's youth.
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Re: Kosher Locust

Postby Enora » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:02 pm

You need to have the tradition in your family in order to distinguish which locust were kosher. It would seem that some moroccans also had this tradition up to recently. Why were they considered kosher? Probably because it was either eat them or die because after an invasion there was NOTHING ELSE to eat... and with pesticides we don't get such invasions anymore. I've had a few locust in our garden here, they're HUGE monsters. I can't even imagine a swarm of these beasts and the damage they can do but I was told it was pretty impressive and common in my parent's and grandparent's youth.
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Re: Kosher Locust

Postby Hart60 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:35 pm

Enora wrote:You need to have the tradition in your family in order to distinguish which locust were kosher. It would seem that some moroccans also had this tradition up to recently.
That's interesting.
Enora wrote:Why were they considered kosher? Probably because it was either eat them or die because after an invasion there was NOTHING ELSE to eat...
Yea that makes sense.
Enora wrote:and with pesticides we don't get such invasions anymore. I've had a few locust in our garden here, they're HUGE monsters. I can't even imagine a swarm of these beasts and the damage they can do but I was told it was pretty impressive and common in my parent's and grandparent's youth.
Thank goodness we don't.
Thanks very much for your reply Enora.
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Re: Kosher Locust

Postby Kira » Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:45 pm

They're considered kosher because it says so in the Torah.

People would eat them because of the reason Enora described, perhaps.

Although I've heard that it's considered a delicacy, among those communities that have the tradition.

There's an organization whose aim is to keep the traditions alive:

http://halachicadventures.com/wp-conten ... rticle.pdf amusing

-Kira
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Re: Kosher Locust

Postby rivka » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:24 pm

Kira wrote:They're considered kosher because it says so in the Torah.

While that's certainly true, the Torah does not detail which species are the right ones. It names them, but names for species change and can be inconsistent. THAT is why we need to have a continuous chain of transmission, a mesorah, of exactly which species are the kosher ones in order to eat them.
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Re: Kosher Locust

Postby Hart60 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:29 pm

Looking it up again, I found this -
"The only flying insects with four walking legs that you may eat are those which have knees extending above their feet" So would that make grasshoppers Kosher ?
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Re: Kosher Locust

Postby rivka » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:59 pm

No. And that's exactly what I mean -- we need a chain of transmission, parent showing child (or teacher showing student), "THIS is the species that is kosher".
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Re: Kosher Locust

Postby Enora » Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:59 pm

Exactly. That's the deal with locust. The Torah says one thing (4 walking legs, knees extended over foot) and YET only certain species are eaten. The rest aren't kosher and in North Africa, communities that DO (or did) have the tradition it was still suggested that the custom be stopped by those same communities' rabbis (except force majeur = invasions, nothing left to eat). Basically if you HAD to, you could, provided they were of a certain species and you could identify that species. I've been told the species permitted has an Aleph on it's back. It is possible that jews that have been more active in maintaining this tradition (or confronted with such locust) consider it a delicacy worth upholding but globally this isn't the case in North Africa where it seems the tradition was widespread just 2 generations ago and yet completely lost today to 99% of us.
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